5E Best Chassis For A Warlord?

What is the best Chassis for a 5e Warlord class?

  • Artificer

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Bard

    Votes: 20 43.5%
  • Barbarian

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cleric

    Votes: 7 15.2%
  • Fighter

    Votes: 16 34.8%
  • Monk

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • Paladin

    Votes: 9 19.6%
  • Ranger

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Rogue

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Sorcerer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Druid

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wizard

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Warlock

    Votes: 8 17.4%

  • Total voters
    46
Either an ally or enemy not "both" - ie versatile
Versatility is also a little bit of an issue. OT1H, it seems to be essentially free - AFAICT, a caster is balanced around what kind of damage he can output vs single targets over the course of the day, so that fireball is 8d6, not 8d6 x 12 targets or anything; and the alternative of casting Haste or Fly or whatever just doesn't even come into it. OTOH, you often don't see a hint of versatility when it comes to other features. Maybe not as bad as 1e/2e specialization, where you might as well have had the specialized weapon welded to the fighter's gauntlet, but pretty set in stone.
Another reason to prefer the Cleric as template: if you follow it, there's presumably room for very versatile resources in the design space left by its spells.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
I have to admit to that line of thought, at times, too. A class based around manuevers, just more, more varied, more customizable, more versatile - and level-gated.

From that you could build a fighter that takes up a combination of tanking, single or multi- target DPR, support, or even control, depending on build, tactics and weapon mix. Done well, with 5e's fairly seamless STR/DEX decision, you might even fold rogue into it.
My Warlord class was reasonably close to this idea: I took a look at the BM fighter and Eldritch Knight, and tried to extrapolate what a 'pure maneuver class' would be capable of based on what a pure caster class is compared to the Eldritch knight.

At-will abilities are pretty limited. Guidance is an example of at-will support. It's oddly controversial. At-will healing is hard to imagine.
One of the Mindsets of my warlord renews resources every round, I generally stuck to temp HP. Higher level, I allowed maneuvers to actually heal, but only to a limit of up to half of the target's max HP. (2/3rds for the more healing-focused subclass.)
Temp HP have much less of an issue than healing since they don't stack. (Plus, the Artificer at least is a class capable of granting others temp HP at-will.

(I'm actually thinking that Artificer would make a pretty good template for the Warlord as well: Its easier to conceptualise mundane maneuvers as good as 5th-level spells than 9th-level spells, and they already have a built-in extra-attack-granting bonus action.


Presumably, you'd be developing a list of 'maneuvers' or the like, the BM serves as a very limited example of that, are powered by whatever long-rest resource claims the design space taken up by those spells in the 'template.' (Maybe not CS dice, which are conceptually and mechanically focused on personal superiority in weapon-swinging combat, which is, afterall the fighter's thang. Also, there might be some more appropriate limited-use criteria than resting.)
I took the BM maneuvers as examples of low-level abilities, and work from there. Many of the BM maneuvers were available at low levels, but at higher levels, they improved, such as affecting multiple people, defensive or HP boosts becoming reactions etc.

From what MM has shared, it sounds like 5e design has mostly been by feel (so, I suspect, much like it always has been), but, with a touchstone: spell slots, denominated in hit points. Magic in general and spellcasting in particular are the overriding focus of the game, as is reflected in the use of spells in every, single, class design, so you can't design a class, even if you are trying to design a revolutionary/unique-in-5e class that doesn't actually use spells at all, without at least referring to spells as a guideline.
Spells are a reasonable guideline for what sort of effects are appropriate to what levels. Many Warlord abilities would be very similar to spells and still fit the concept well.
 
My Warlord class was reasonably close to this idea: I took a look at the BM fighter and Eldritch Knight, and tried to extrapolate what a 'pure maneuver class' would be capable of based on what a pure caster class is compared to the Eldritch knight.
It seems a reasonable way to proceed.

One of the Mindsets of my warlord renews resources every round,
So, 'Mindset' instead of 'Archetype' as the sub-class label? I guess 'Doctrine'd be a tad modern.

I generally stuck to temp HP. Higher level, I allowed maneuvers to actually heal, but only to a limit of up to half of the target's max HP. (2/3rds for the more healing-focused subclass.)
Temp HP have much less of an issue than healing since they don't stack. (Plus, the Artificer at least is a class capable of granting others temp HP at-will.
The Skald in my campaign has been granting temp hps at will forever, and it's not an issue, yeah.

I took the BM maneuvers as examples of low-level abilities, and work from there. Many of the BM maneuvers were available at low levels, but at higher levels, they improved, such as affecting multiple people, defensive or HP boosts becoming reactions etc...
Spells are a reasonable guideline for what sort of effects are appropriate to what levels.
I'd clarify they're the design guideline for what level of power (generally hp denominated) and what sorts of mechanics might be reasonable at a given level. The effects imagined in the fiction and how they're accomplished will likely be very different.
Many Warlord abilities would be very similar to spells and still fit the concept well. Its easier to conceptualise mundane maneuvers as good as 5th-level spells than 9th-level spells
One of the better 9th level spells is supposedly Foresight, and it's not hard at all to imagine a Warlord imparting those sorts of mechanical benefits. Just establishing/maintaining/ending them quite differently, I'd expect.
 
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Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
So, 'Mindset' instead of 'Archetype' as the sub-class label? I guess 'Doctrine'd be a tad modern.
Mindset was more like the Warlock pact. The Architect mindset had a large Superiority dice pool that refreshed on sort rests. The Opportunist had superiority dice that refreshed at the end of their turn, or as an action.

Actual subclasses were Tactician, Leader and Vanguard, which emphasised different capabilities that you could probably guess from the names.

I'd clarify they're the design guideline for what level of power (generally hp denominated) and what sorts of mechanics might be reasonable at a given level. The effects imagined in the fiction and how they're accomplished will likely be very different.
Outside of interactions with detect magic, counterspell and antimagic fields, spells like Heroism and Haste would work as warlord abilities using pretty much the same mechanics.
 
Mindset was more like the Warlock pact. The Architect mindset had a large Superiority dice pool that refreshed on sort rests. The Opportunist had superiority dice that refreshed at the end of their turn, or as an action.
So there's two defining choices for the class, rather than just the usual Archetype. Interesting.

"Mindset" is clear enough, but not at all thematic, like, IDK, "Strategy" or doctrine (military doctrines are actually kinda interesting, but a fairly modern development) or something.... still if it's clear and intuitive enough that it doesn't confuse the reader.

Actual subclasses were Tactician, Leader and Vanguard, which emphasised different capabilities that you could probably guess from the names.
I do have to guess at the other two: Inspiring & Bravura?

Outside of interactions with detect magic, counterspell and antimagic fields, spells like Heroism and Haste would work as warlord abilities using pretty much the same mechanics.
Well, and slots, and V/S/M components, determining who's affected, and the like.

But there's no reason to come up with a novel mechanic for inspiring courage or orchestrating for more efficient movement.... just, how it's set up might be very different. The extra movement and action from Haste, for instance, might not make tons of sense as an effect tossed on one creature out of the blue and maintained by concentration, but could make sense for a specific set of actions practiced in drills during downtime beforehand.
 
Hmm. Perhaps something that could allow certain actions to be performed instead as bonus actions, essentially a direct buff to the action economy. Or BA's as reactions, or something of that nature. There's a lot of competition for the BA slot in a lot of classes but I see that as a positive - this wouldn't be the obvious thing to do every single turn. But there's always that moment when a character really needs to be doing two things at once and can't, so some way to occasionally make that happen would be cool. Issues of resource cost on the Warlord side would obviously also need to be addressed.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
So there's two defining choices for the class, rather than just the usual Archetype. Interesting.

"Mindset" is clear enough, but not at all thematic, like, IDK, "Strategy" or doctrine (military doctrines are actually kinda interesting, but a fairly modern development) or something.... still if it's clear and intuitive enough that it doesn't confuse the reader.
The class is pretty incomplete, but mindset seemed to be decent fit to define the way a member of the class thought of their capabilities. (As opposed to the approach they take in using them, which is where the subclass comes in.)

I do have to guess at the other two: Inspiring & Bravura?
Tactician was primary stat Int, specialised at spotting openings and shouting warnings - bonuses to maneuvers that boosted attack, AC and ability checks.
Leader valued Charisma more, excelled at keeping allies in the fight and enduring the opposition, and got bonuses to maneuvers that boosted HP, Saves or ability checks
Vanguard was more the "Lead by example" type, was more personally capable. They were likely to use more maneuvers that directly attacked the opposition and had the ability to allow a nearby ally to duplicate a maneuver they had used themselves.

Well, and slots, and V/S/M components, determining who's affected, and the like.

But there's no reason to come up with a novel mechanic for inspiring courage or orchestrating for more efficient movement.... just, how it's set up might be very different. The extra movement and action from Haste, for instance, might not make tons of sense as an effect tossed on one creature out of the blue and maintained by concentration, but could make sense for a specific set of actions practiced in drills during downtime beforehand.
Slots = daily uses.
Material Components probably don't have a connection, unless you're waving around your unit insignia or something, but shouting and gesturing absolutely fit.
Keeping up the continuous stream of advice, encouragement and the occasional insult sounds like it would take focus, and a distraction such as losing HP might break your concentration.
You can probably focus on one person well enough, and as you get better, or use more effort, you might be able to include multiple allies.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
You can probably focus on one person well enough, and as you get better, or use more effort, you might be able to include multiple allies.
Meh that is the opposite of Warlord the concept of Warlord is "TEAM" coordinating a team what you are describing is that battlemaster fighter subclass ie he doesn't see the whole scene nor understand how their interaction is where they get there awesome and makes them greater than an individual. This is not an utterly consistent element and one can probably easily choose to be more focused but it is dramatically a missing element for that Battlemaster who has to use huge resources to affect more than 1.

Level one at-will power
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Level one Encounter Power appropriate for a Bravura or even a Icon/Princ(ess) Warlord.
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And there are actually quite a few dailies which are multi-ally enhancing at level 1
Lamb to the Slaughter is my favorite but Orchestrated Offensive. White Raven Onslaught, Lead the Attack and so on. Basically I think you need to start with 2 allies for some abilities or you arent affecting the team.... and need to go beyond that very very soon or it is a misfire to the class concept.
 

Attachments

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I also think it's important not to get too caught up in the 4e version of the class, which was built for a very different game.
Supposedly this version of the game is less nailed down by roles and the like and characters can pick their own weave within the story of the fight but to me it looks more nailed down and prescriptive at times ( damage damage all damage every day ). On the other hand I have not seen any convincing arguments that the 4e Warlord is too powerful for 5e nor really that its abilities arent already floating around in 5e.

In fact maybe it can actually fit the concept of Warlord even better than the 4e one but I do not think it will ever do so if it is artificially limited by thinking of it as something other than the team player
 
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Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Meh that is the opposite of Warlord the concept of Warlord is "TEAM" coordinating a team what you are describing is that battlemaster fighter subclass ie he doesn't see the whole scene nor understand how their interaction is where they get there awesome and makes them greater than an individual. This is not an utterly consistent element and one can probably easily choose to be more focused but it is dramatically a missing element for that Battlemaster who has to use huge resources to affect more than 1.
?

The sentence you quoted was specifically addressing how the mechanics for a couple of single-target spells might be justified when converted for a warlord. - Specifically addressing the "determining who's affected" part of Tony's post in his conversation with me about those spells.

Not a suggestion regarding general warlord capabilities or theme.
 

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